Can You Really Sweat Out Toxins During A Hot Yoga Class?

Hot yoga has become a popular way to perform yoga, adding a degree (no pun intended) of difficulty to the practice. Unlike regular yoga, where the room's temperature is not considered before starting, hot yoga is performed in a heated room. How hot? The standard temperature is around 105 degrees Fahrenheit (about 40 degrees Celsius) and an uncomfortable 40% humidity, according to Mayo Clinic. Due to the high temperatures, hot yoga is obviously not for everyone. Those with heart problems or are prone to becoming dizzy should stay away and stick with regular (unheated) classes.

While the practitioners of hot yoga swear by the benefits, researchers are less sure. There are pros and cons to performing hot yoga. For example, it can create more flexibility and suppleness in your body, since the heat allows your muscles to soften even more than you already would. One potential benefit is the amount a person may sweat during a session. While this can potentially turn dangerous if they aren't careful to stay hydrated, lovers of hot yoga say that it can detoxify the body. Are these claims true?

Sweating is not the same thing as detoxification

Whether you are working hard outside, enjoying a sauna, or performing hot yoga, you will probably begin to sweat. This can feel like you're ridding yourself of toxins and you may feel much better afterward. However, it turns out that sweating doesn't really have anything to do with getting rid of toxins in your body.

Your body naturally gets rid of toxins already without you needing to sweat. The kidneys and intestines filter toxins from our blood and bile, which are then removed from our body through urine and feces, explains Verywell Fit. Sweating isn't involved in that process. Controlled by the autonomic nervous system, sweating helps keep your body cool by releasing liquid from the body's sweat glands, according to MedlinePlus. Sweat is an important tool in our body's arsenal for regulating temperature. But sweating has nothing to do with removing toxins.

Sweating does have other health benefits

So you don't remove toxins from your body when you sweat in hot yoga. Bummer. However, that doesn't mean that sweating doesn't have other health benefits. Yes, sweating helps to regulate your temperature, but it can also do other things that you can be happy about when sweating in a hot and humid room doing the downward dog.

First, sweating can improve the appearance of your skin. When you exercise, blood circulates through your body, allowing nutrients to help the skin cells stay strong, according to Piedmont Healthcare. Sweating can then keep the skin looking moisturized and young.

Second, sweating can be a good indicator of your exertion during a workout. While how much people sweat can depend on their fitness level and the type of workout, sweating can (in general) be a sign that you're working really hard and improving your athleticism, explains Verywell Fit. So while you may not be getting rid of toxins through your sweat, know that it still has important roles to play in your healh.